I celebrate the accomplishment of fair housing for all that has largely been achieved over the past 50 years. Compare the present to the past's outright blatant discrimination, and our society has achieved much. We have achieved equal access to housing based on the protected classes.
The largest problems, according to a recent commentary in The Baltimore Sun (“Five decades after Fair Housing Act, segregation continues,” April 12), are unwanted sexual advances and pressure for sexual favors and banks failure to maintain foreclosed housing in poor middle-income and working-class minority neighborhoods to the same degree they had in higher-income neighborhoods. The Realtor's magazine recently advised its members to become more familiar with the rules concerning "therapy pets" as the biggest need in compliance with the fair housing laws. If therapy pets and a disparity in the maintenance of foreclosed homes is our biggest worry, we have come very far in achieving access to housing for all regardless of race, religion, color, creed, sex, national origin, family status and handicap.
The authors complain that HUD is suspending obligations for cities and counties to address segregation. This step seems appropriate given that residents in our communities are free to chose where they live, and we do not need the federal government telling local governments how they need to be spending their limited resources. Let us acknowledge that regulations forcing integration can be as destructive as regulations and laws that formerly forced segregation and limited choice. I advocate for freedom of choice, without government interference, in choosing where to live and where to send my children to school.
Ben Frederick, Baltimore
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